The first day we saw a giant Buddha carved from a mountainside and several temples. The second day we road several hours up the side of a mountain on a bus, then hopped on a cable car ride up to the top of the summit. The bus ride was terrifying! The driver spent a lot of time honking his horn and trying to pass on narrow, curvy mountain roads which were enveloped by clouds. When we finally got to the top of the mountain, we saw the giant, gold, Buddha statue and another temple. It was very cloudy, so we were not able to see much from the mountain top. The cable car ride was all enveloped by clouds. We took a very small, two person cable car ride up the mountain, then rode in a large, 100 person cable car ride down the mountain. This was Mt. Emai, the tallest peak in the area. We also did a lot of walking up and down steps they carved into the mountain. We have decided the Chinese love to build steps. They have them up and down mountains wherever we go. Along the trail we saw some "naughty monkeys" as they say. They were Tibetan Macaques. Very cute, but yes, naughty. They love to steal food. We saw them take milk boxes and open them and drink out of them. They stole water bottles and food. We saw some really cute little baby monkeys along the way. The boys loved the monkeys!
The third day was our favorite. We got to go to the Giant Panda rescue and research facility. They have 80 pandas living there. There are only about 1,000 pandas left in the wild. They all live in the region that we visited. It was a beautiful area. We hiked (walked up and down steps again!) through their habitat. Beautiful mountain streams and waterfalls. Then we got to see the pandas they are working with. They had a newborn panda there! So cute! Our favorite was the Panda Kindergarten section. These were young pandas. They were playing together. We also saw large pandas eating, sleeping, climbing trees.. We all really enjoyed it.
The last day we toured a beautiful park surrounding a 1,000 year old Irrigation System. It was built to avoid flooding in the area as well as to provide drinking water for the people. They built pagodas to overlook the river. We climbed up there to look around. There was another temple built there, as well as fountains, statues of the men who created the irrigation system and beautiful landscaping. The Chinese are really into their horticulture. Everywhere you go they have planted beautiful landscaping.
They can really climb high! Then they sleep in the tree.
The boys wanted a panda bear souvenir.
They built a lovely park around the Irrigation System.
A fancy phone booth we found in one of the parks!
These men were dressed up and would move if you put money in their jar (otherwise they were like statues). They wanted to take a picture with our kids. Thomas was brave enough to do it!
The Chinese kept taking pictures of us, especially the boys. They constantly ask to take pictures of them, touch their heads, smile and point and try to say hello. Many had never seen a caucasian in the areas that we were traveling to, so they were very excited to see us. I eventually decided I might as well take pictures of them too! Here is a cutie!
Victoria Harbor in Hong Kong. We took a ferry across it. Beautiful at night.
Tried to capture some pictures of the people in the streets. This little guy was playing near the chickens for sale. The elderly still work hard, carrying big baskets on their backs to market.
Wow, have I written a lot! So much more to write, but I think I will just say it with pictures instead. We took so many more pictures, but I am sure you have seen enough!
Tibetan Macaque monkeys.
Kristie was terrified on this cable car! The big one down was much easier on the nerves than this tiny one going up. It was worth the nerves, though, when we finally got to the top and got to see what they had managed to build up there.
The Golden Summit on Mt. Emai. Gold paint on most of it. Just one part (that Buddha is holding in his hands) is solid gold.
Beautiful waterfalls in the Panda Habitat.